SnorkelingSt John Beaches

A Guide to Hansen Bay / Vie’s Beach

Panoramic image of Hansen Bay. Mouse over scroll – left and right.

Vie’s Beach at Hansen Bay

After 38 years, Vie has decide to CLOSE her popular beach access/parking and Snack Shack. We’d like to thank her for some wonderful food, Sugar Apple generosity and many wonderful days on Hansen Bay!


The East End of St John has several great destinations. Hansen Bay beach, also known as Vie’s Beach ( she owns the property between this beach and the road), is one of the top spots on St John for its beautiful beach, fantastic snorkeling and off-the-beaten-path location. Comprised of several beaches –  “Vie’s beach” is located directly across the road from Vie’s Snack Shack. She chargse $2.50 pp. – which includes parking, a shady spot to enjoy some of her island cooking and access to the beach and beach chairs.

Looking for a little adventure?
Vie has several kayaks to rent. Inquire at the Snack Shack for pricing and availability.

This is one of my personal favorites. The crescent-shaped beach is soft white sand with a couple of places to find some shade among the sea grapes or a coconut palm. Entry to the water is shallow with a sand and pebble bottom. Just off the beach the sand transitions to sea grass beds. Hansen Bay faces south and is protected from large waves – making for some of the nicest swimming on St John. And when you need a break from the sun and fun – grab a bite at Vie’s Snack Shack. Enjoy home-cooking and a cold non-alcoholic drink in the shade of 2 very old and very large boxwood trees. She’s famous for her Garlic Chicken; but I like her conch fritters or Johnny Cakes  dipped in honey.Vie's conch fritters

Keep an eye out for Angel’s Rest – St John’s only floating bar!

Voted a Top Snorkeling Spot on St John: Hansen Bay offers a wonderful mix of sea grass and rocky patch reefs. Snorkeling to your right is the easiest – offering some interesting structure with lots of fish, corals, sea fans. Much of the reef is shallow – between 2″ and 8′ – sloping off to 10′ to 16′ as you head further out. Keep your eyes peeled for the endangered Staghorn coral. This threatened species of hard coral seems to like this spot. Snorkeling to the left …across the small bay brings you to a larger patch reef nicknamed Pelican Rock. Again, lots of underwater structure with plenty of corals and fish. Hansen Bay is a great place to spot turtles, rays and some larger Jacks and Pompano that come in to feed on bait fish. For the experienced and physically fit – snorkel west around the point and you’ll come to Limetree Cove. It’s a nice little sandy beach that’s only accessible from the water. Remember: no beach is private in the USVI. You are allowed to use the beach up to the high water line ( or where the plants/foliage begin).

Getting there:
From Cruz Bay – take Rte 20 ( North Shore Road) or Centerline towards Coral Bay. Continue on through Coral Bay, past the Moravian Church,  Donkey Diner and Skinny Legs. You’ll drive a winding and sometimes hilly road out to the East End. You’ll come upon a large Tamarind tree that splits the center of the road  …on your left ….under the shade of an ancient Boxwood tree is Vie’s Snack Shack.

Go ahead and share!